Search found 193 matches

by camillus
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use wife's traditional IRA to pay off house?
Replies: 3
Views: 641

Re: Use wife's traditional IRA to pay off house?

People sometime do crazy things in order to remove one row (or one account) from a spreadsheet. Don't fall into that trap, unless you want to for simplicity's sake. From a pure math perspective, the likely solution is to leave things where they are - which is hard to do.
by camillus
Sat Oct 14, 2017 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Moving From Debt to Wealth
Replies: 6
Views: 1241

Re: Help Moving From Debt to Wealth

Who is going to pay for a wedding ceremony? How much of a ring do you want?

I hear Northpointe Bank, in LMCU's neighborhood, gives 5% up to $10k.
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 3620

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

If all else is equal, it is slightly better to hold bonds in your HSA because this decreases the chance that your HSA will become too large for your medical expenses and will become taxable. Correct me if I am wrong, but I the event that HSA money grows too large, and the person is old enough (65) ...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax (and other) Planning with first child due Dec 28th
Replies: 6
Views: 500

Re: Tax (and other) Planning with first child due Dec 28th

About a week before the baby is due, start doing everything you can to induce labor. The difference between a birth in 2017 and 2018 is likely a few thousand dollars of net worth. What a rare circumstance on bogleheads where advocating for vigorous sex may have a real, tangible financial effect. Neo...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 3620

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

bluerafters wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:03 pm
Interesting approach.
I have this bad habit of editing immediately after I publish. I kept writing a bit after you quoted.
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?
Replies: 58
Views: 3620

Re: HSA’s: What level of risk do you prefer?

Keep in mind that money is fungible across investment accounts. Much of the thinking in the thread above represents illusory "mental accounting." Say your HSA holdings are 100% stock. You incur a health related expense of $1000. Sell $1000 of stock in your HSA to pay for your expense. Immediately tr...
by camillus
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: First time investing--Roth IRA
Replies: 6
Views: 530

Re: First time investing--Roth IRA

I recommend Vanguard's Target Date Funds (edit: or a Lifecycle fund mentioned above). Say, for math's sake, you invest $10,000 this year between you and your wife's Roth IRAs. The expense ratio on such a fund is 16 basis points (0.16%), or $16 for the year. Optimizing funds and fees more than that w...
by camillus
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Three-fund portfolio: Robo-adviser or 3 funds?]
Replies: 7
Views: 681

Re: [Three-fund portfolio: Robo-adviser or 3 funds?]

There are other options that are equal or better in terms of simplicity and cost: target date funds and lifecycle funds. It can't get much more simple than owning one fund.

I am jealous of Betterment's interface though. Betterment looks really cool.
by camillus
Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paternity/Maternity Leave & Its Influence on Career Trajectory
Replies: 23
Views: 1665

Re: Paternity/Maternity Leave & Its Influence on Career Trajectory

I am about to take a few weeks off with FMLA when my second son is born. Take some time off! Do it for me and all the other dads without paternity leave (and for your family, I guess)...
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash in a local bank or credit union
Replies: 54
Views: 3264

Re: Cash in a local bank or credit union

We keep $30k at the local credit union earning 3%. Wife likes round numbers.
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I could use some advice on my IRA situation. Not sure what to do.
Replies: 15
Views: 1338

Re: I could use some advice on my IRA situation. Not sure what to do.

I think you need to take the anxiety down a few notches. There's nothing to "cringe" about. This is all stuff you can learn about in a short time and take care of with a few phone calls and time at the computer. We here just need a bit more information to help you out.
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?
Replies: 28
Views: 9345

Re: Why is TransUnion pushing True Identity vs credit freeze?

Imagine you have a neighbor across the street that all day stands in his yard with binoculars in hand watching what you do and writing it down. This neighbor then puts out an ad and sells his notes on everything that you do. How friendly do you want to be with this neighbor? I froze my credit x 5. T...
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. Traditional for RMD's & Tax Diversification
Replies: 30
Views: 1293

Re: Roth vs. Traditional for RMD's & Tax Diversification

The top of 15% is right around $100K for married MFJ, when you add in standard deductions and 2 exemptions. Let's say the couple has $50K combined SS, at 85% taxability that is $42,500. So you would need $57,500 withdrawals to get to top of 15%. 57,500/.0365 = $1,575,000. That's a lot less than "a ...
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best credit cards for our college kids? (credit building)
Replies: 9
Views: 581

Re: Best credit cards for our college kids? (credit building)

Add them as authorized users on your credit cards. Do this without telling them. Make them get their own credit card too - hopefully with a small credit limit and be hands off.
by camillus
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades
Replies: 133
Views: 12862

Re: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades

Speaking as a total amateur, I think predicting markets is increasingly difficult as we seem to be (and hopefully are) on the verge of technological breakthroughs in transportation and energy that might disrupt a cascading number of industries and production. The rate of technological advance is mor...
by camillus
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth vs. Traditional for RMD's & Tax Diversification
Replies: 30
Views: 1293

Re: Roth vs. Traditional for RMD's & Tax Diversification

Another way to play with this is to hold bonds in traditional and equities in Roth (or better, perhaps small cap and international specifically). If equities go on a tear and your portfolio grows significantly, those gains will be on the Roth side and wouldn't mess with RMD. I tend to agree with Kla...
by camillus
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Throwing Down with a Primerica Advisor
Replies: 45
Views: 3201

Re: Throwing Down with a Primerica Advisor

Cancel the meeting. What's the point other than a headache for yourself?
by camillus
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2242
Views: 390528

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Well, my strategy now is not much. I froze mine and my wife's credit, as so many here, at the big 5 credit reporting agencies. I figured maybe it was time to take a break anyway. Of course I've said that before and this will actually be the first time I've done it. I did upgrade my current AMEX Blu...
by camillus
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2341

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

I'll blow the YNAB horn x2 I enjoy using YNAB because of the streamlined interface. Also, everything you do helps you focus on your saving rate. An extra paycheck in a month will allow you to put money away in a rolling fund the next month. Irregular expenses are funded each month and ready to spen...
by camillus
Sat Sep 30, 2017 9:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using investments to pay student loans.
Replies: 8
Views: 468

Re: Using investments to pay student loans.

1) Refinance your student loans to a low rate (sofi.com, mr money mustache has a $250 cashback voucher I believe)
2) Stop contributing to retirement, except to capture employer match
by camillus
Sun Aug 27, 2017 3:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 30,000 in Checking Account
Replies: 133
Views: 20029

Re: 30,000 in Checking Account

I just found out tonight that Manhattan, KS has a KS State Bank with a 1.9% checking account as long as you have 10 swipes and a direct deposit each month. Don't know how I haven't heard about this before now, but wow. Looks like I found a new place for my emergency fund and a new checking account....
by camillus
Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park emergency fund to beat inflation?
Replies: 25
Views: 3206

Re: Where to park emergency fund to beat inflation?

If I were in OP's shoes, I would consider making Northpointe my primary bank & checking account. estatements, easy direct deposit, you may be able to get an exemption from the bank, as I did with another bank, while I was a student and had no income 15 debits, this could take you as little as 60 sec...
by camillus
Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPhone upgrade through Apple vs through carrier
Replies: 19
Views: 1733

Re: iPhone upgrade through Apple vs through carrier

Look into virgin mobile. If you buy a new iPhone with them you can get unlimited everything with them for $1/year.

We bought iPhones last month with them and our cell phone bill was $0.16 this month, unlimited data.
by camillus
Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: GF Picking a college major
Replies: 105
Views: 5762

Re: GF Picking a college major

I think working with career service is the first action step. I really cringe at the thought of "trying different things" at BU at $24 a semester. What cheaper schools does she have access to? I am a nurse. One of the neat things about nursing as opposed to MD or even PA is that you can work your wa...
by camillus
Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help with a new cell phone strategy
Replies: 8
Views: 1285

Re: help with a new cell phone strategy

Try Virgin Mobile. They have a $ 1/year plan for 1 year. You need to buy a new phone, but you were thinking of doing that. It is iPhone only so you need to see if the cost makes sense for you. They use Sprint's network. This is what we are ending up doing, since we needed new smartphones and prefer...
by camillus
Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $1,000 for taxable 3-5 year outlook
Replies: 11
Views: 1313

Re: $1,000 for taxable 3-5 year outlook

Total stock.

Keep it simple.

If you sell your taxable when the market is high, great. If you sell your taxable when the market is low, no problem, just go to your retirement account and trade the same dollar value of bond for total stock. You are insured against "selling low."
by camillus
Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs
Replies: 25
Views: 1898

Re: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs

If you have a well baby, checkups and vaccines will cost you zero dollars. Those visits and vaccines have deductibles / OOP no? 100% free. https://www.healthcare.gov/preventive-care-children/ (Here, I am strongly resisting making political commentary. You can see that with this comment in parenthes...
by camillus
Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help with a new cell phone strategy
Replies: 8
Views: 1285

help with a new cell phone strategy

Thanks in advance for your help. I've been looking at this for a bit and find it complicated and wonder what insights folks might have. My wife and I each have an iPhone 5C on Verizon. We actually split a data plan with her parents. My wife and I cover our charges, about $75 a month (two $20 line fe...
by camillus
Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teenager taking out loans to establish good credit
Replies: 24
Views: 1519

Re: Teenager taking out loans to establish good credit

You can ask your parents to add you as an authorized user for the purpose of establishing your credit, but then ask them to keep the card with your name on it in their sock drawer. It's not a good habit to get into to pay your parents back for things (what are the terms of such a line of credit?). Y...
by camillus
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs
Replies: 25
Views: 1898

Re: Changing Health Insurance Around Child birth to reduce costs

If you have a well baby, checkups and vaccines will cost you zero dollars.
by camillus
Sat Jul 22, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Amazon Prime worth it?
Replies: 135
Views: 10582

Re: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

For my family, we: 1) regularly order books and household items, even specialty items I need for household projects 2) watch Amazon TV pretty regularly, including PBS kids shows 3) listen to Amazon music over an Echo Dot attached to a nice speaker in the kitchen (Amazon Unlimited went on sale for $1...
by camillus
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use Verizon wireless prepaid for cell phones???
Replies: 41
Views: 4070

Re: Anyone use Verizon wireless prepaid for cell phones???

Just want to add some info that could save Verizon folks some $$$. It looks like if you change to Sprint you could get cell service for almost free for 12 months. No, I do not work for Sprint. https://www.sprint.com/en/shop/offers/free-unlimited.html?phone=byod&cf_offer=100579&cf_id=754059097.754059...
by camillus
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt: pay down student loan or car loan
Replies: 11
Views: 839

Re: Debt: pay down student loan or car loan

The student loan for two reasons:
1) It has the smaller balance
2) It has the higher interest rate
by camillus
Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MVNO's versus the Big 4
Replies: 52
Views: 4763

Re: MVNO's versus the Big 4

The cheapest cell phone plan right now is not an MVNO, believe it or not, it's Sprint: https://www.sprint.com/en/shop/offers/free-unlimited.html?phone=byod&cf_offer=100579&cf_id=754059097.754059096.738564115&cfp=3ae61b4d8afb847266763b2d96f65032&ECID=SEM:Google:p:2017_Q1:Brand_-_Prospect_-_SP_-_Core_...
by camillus
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: simplicity vs chasing bonuses
Replies: 29
Views: 2601

simplicity vs chasing bonuses

Dear Bogleheads, I hope this is not too strange of a post. I’m writing for two reasons: 1) a form of self-accountability in that I’ll know I’ve put this in black and white, and 2) to seek wisdom from others here who perhaps feel the same struggle. I understand simplicity in financial matters to be a...
by camillus
Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road vehicle, 4 adults, one car seat, must it be a minivan?
Replies: 43
Views: 2665

Re: Road vehicle, 4 adults, one car seat, must it be a minivan?

I'm a man and I drive a Honda Odyssey. You know, I can fit a 4x8 piece of drywall laying flat in the back. It has leather, heated seats. It can also fit 8 passengers. [Hangs head in shame. Toe-ing the floor.] In fact, I bought it last week. It's 10 years old, which means I bought it where the deprec...
by camillus
Mon Jul 10, 2017 6:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay
Replies: 42
Views: 3188

Re: Stop contributing to 529 on 50% chance grandparents pay

Let me remind myself of some specifics about your 529 -- 1) Allows you to avoid state income tax at present 2) Nonqualified withdrawals are subject to a 10% tax and federal income tax (not capital gains tax). So there's a 50-50 chance that the 529 will be better than taxable, and either way has draw...
by camillus
Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting college savings
Replies: 29
Views: 2381

Re: Starting college savings

NGD,

I found an old thread that gives more information on the FAFSA implications of using a Roth to pay for college. Some bogleheads heavy hitters weigh in:
viewtopic.php?t=154001.
by camillus
Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting college savings
Replies: 29
Views: 2381

Re: Starting college savings

I believe that withdrawing Roth IRA money counts as income. (Is this true also for withdrawing contributions? Not sure.) So what you could do is have your children take out as much subsidized loans as they can (0% money while in school), use any 529 balances if you have any in the early years, and t...
by camillus
Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Starting college savings
Replies: 29
Views: 2381

Re: Starting college savings

I think there's a good amount of wisdom in maxing out your retirement tax-advantaged accounts first. Keep in mind that even without a 529, you have these sources to draw from to pay for college: 1) Discretionary cash flow 2) You can stop contributing to retirement accounts (hopefully you are ahead, ...
by camillus
Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit score much lower than expected: 711
Replies: 21
Views: 1513

Re: Credit score much lower than expected: 711

I paid off a mortgage, closed a credit card I had held for years (Freedom), opened a new card (Freedom Unlimited), opened an Amazon credit card just to get a deal, opened a card with Capital One just to get a deal, and have had inquiries to pre-approve me for a new mortgage. Each of these items cou...
by camillus
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars
Replies: 173
Views: 14478

Re: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars

Picture this scenario: Your wife is driving your 12 year old car on the freeway at night. The car stops running and she pulls off to the side. While she is stranded there, another car with several men in it pulls over to "help". Do you want your wife in such a situation? How much is it worth to avo...
by camillus
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Grandson's request for advice
Replies: 37
Views: 3780

Re: Grandson's request for advice

I just want to chime in an say that this is a wonderful and exceedingly rare opportunity. Take him out to lunch or something. Celebrate that he wants to talk to you. More than mere investing, you can talk about the purpose of managing your finances well - to allow you to accomplish your life goals. ...
by camillus
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars
Replies: 173
Views: 14478

Re: Bogleheads: you should be buying 10-year old cars

There's a lot of complainypants in this thread :-) There are many wonderfully safe, reliable, comfortable 10 year old cars on the road. Part of boglehead philosophy contains preferences for simplicity instead of flash, willingness to buck conventional wisdom, DIY, delayed gratification, and so forth...
by camillus
Sat Jul 01, 2017 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just found out my mom is in serious financial crisis. Need help ASAP.
Replies: 58
Views: 9444

Re: Just found out my mom is in serious financial crisis. Need help ASAP.

I'm afraid I have little knowledge when it comes to specifics regarding indebtedness to the IRS. I would recommend Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. She is going to need a lot of encouragement and motivation to make significant changes in her standard of living, which is very painful. "Beans...
by camillus
Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 33 and getting serious about retirement
Replies: 17
Views: 2269

Re: 33 and getting serious about retirement

First of all, "she." :-) Thanks for the correction. Here I am talking about assumptions. Another element to consider is this: If you max out your 401k, you may become eligible for some "front-door" Roth contributions. You would be decreasing your taxable income by $18k ($145k - 18k = $127k). A seco...
by camillus
Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 33 and getting serious about retirement
Replies: 17
Views: 2269

Re: 33 and getting serious about retirement

Pardon me, but paying 28% fed income tax & 9.3% CA tax would have me maxing out the 401k before contributing to Roth. Why this recommendation when OP expects his income to sharply increase? I regard this as a hedge against voluntary and involuntary early retirement (as well as a VAT in the distant f...
by camillus
Thu Jun 22, 2017 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?
Replies: 48
Views: 4548

Re: New Baby - Wife stay at home for 1 year?

I just want to reflect that the OP didn't ask a question in the body of his post. He merely described that his wife would like to stay home and they are in good shape to do so. Go for it, man. Life isn't about an optimized spreadsheet. Life is about optimizing relationships. Your baby is a very impo...